Correlates of correct HIV knowledge and myth rejection in South Africa: the 2012 National HIV Prevalence, Incidence and Behavior Survey

SOURCE: Journal of AIDS & Clinical Research
OUTPUT TYPE: Journal Article
TITLE AUTHOR(S): M.Mabaso, S.Jooste, S.Sigida, Z.Silimfe, A.North, L.C.Simbayi
DEPARTMENT: Human and Social Capabilities (HSC), Deputy CEO: Research (DCEO_R), Deputy CEO: Research (ERKC)
Print: HSRC Library: shelf number 10278
HANDLE: 20.500.11910/11863

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Correct knowledge of HIV transmission and prevention and myth rejection is a prerequisite to practicing safer behavior and important for reducing the risk of new infections. This study investigates the association between correct knowledge of HIV transmission, prevention and myth rejection with socio-demographic factors and HIV-related behavioral risk practices in South Africa. The study used the 2012 South African national HIV prevalence, incidence and behavior survey data based on a multistage cross-sectional design. Univariate and multivariate logistic regression models were used to examine correlates of correct HIV knowledge and myth rejection. Of 26,544 sub-sample of youth and adults data (15 years and older) who responded to the HIV knowledge question, only 26.8% reported correct knowing of HIV transmission, prevention and rejection of all myths about HIV. In the final model significant negative predictors of correct HIV knowledge, prevention and myth rejection included residing in rural informal areas (OR=0.68 (95% CI: 0.48- 0.95), p=0.027), and being a harmful alcohol drinker (OR=0.18 (95% CI: 0.06- 1.29), p=0.001) while sexual debut at 15 years and older (OR=1.8 (95 CI: 1.12- 2.91), p= 0.015) was a significant positive predictor of correct HIV knowledge and myth rejection. The findings confirms that levels of HIV knowledge can either prevent individuals from making informed choices and take appropriate actions aimed at preventing the infection or make people to take precautions to protect themselves. Efforts to promote HIV knowledge, prevention and myth rejection in the general population should be strengthened given the declining HIV knowledge levels in the country.